On Friday the 16th November The Defekters had a launch party gig at The Coach and Horses in Stevenage old Town and of course, with then having played at Club-85 recently on my birthday night, I just had to go.
I went along with my daughter Fran and Ignatius and we all had a splendid time as support came along in the form of the marvellous Golddust:-
Neil & Ellie giving it their all, the very splendid Golddust.
More support came in the form of the highly entertaining 'Semi Skinned':-
Semi Skinned doin' it large.
And then of course came The 'Defekters', if you thought they were good at Club-85 well, at the Coach they ripped the roof off!
The Defekters tearing down the Coach & Horses.
All in all a very splendid night but that was just the start of things as, on Saturday, a very special event took place.
Stevenage Museum has a current exhibition all about Bowes Lyon House and Music, over the years, in it's heyday, Bowes was 'Mecca' for music fans, just about every band or artist that really mattered played there and in the late 70's / early 80's was THE place for Punk.
Drifting back through the years, both 'Nuzz' Prowling Wolf and Chris Ripple were movers and shakers on the local music scene, and the great thing is that they still are!
So, a museum, an exhibition, a gig?
Yes, a gig!
It was what is termed in the museum business as a 'Living Exhibition', Chris Ripple performed some of his expressive, entertaining, hard hitting, satirical and down right splendid poetry, while, for one afternoon only, the infamous 'Drug Prowling Wolves' (Nuzz & Roger anyway) reformed to give us some musical? entertainment.
My friend and fellow poet Graeme Lloyd outside the window display.
A smattering of artists and punters on 'smoke' break.
The mighty Chris Ripple in full flow
If you believed the publicity, and I swear it's all true, some of the comments about the DPW's from way back:-
"So bad they're actually good"
"Never let these guys near a stage again, ever"
etc. Well, all I have to say is their first set was very interesting, Nuzz 'broke' his acoustic guitar during the firt number!
DPW's - "Getting a life"
And Jon Thurlow joined them on stage too!
There was a respectable crowd there to enjoy the afternoon and join in the fun, it was such a nostalgic trip down memory lane and a real treat to hear some of Chris's older poems and some of the songs by the DPW's that I never ever dreamed I'd hear again, a success I believe.
So taking a short break after the Museum gig I grab a coffee and a sticky bun from Gregg's and settle down like some old dosser by the fountain to watch the shoppers pass by and the rats play, yes, a rat was darting in and out between shoppers footsteps to grab tasty morsels before darting back to the bushes!
And then it was off to the station to catch my train to Arlesey for the pick up to go off for the night, overnight, at Melbourn Rock Club to see Pig Iron with Motor Oil & Confidence and Walkway in support, this was very much a Fellowship of the Stick event, hence most of the pictures are far too incriminating to post and as per usual, I captured most of it in verse.
It Wasn’t Us, It Was The Bear!
The one and only Fender Bear
It wasn’t us, it was the bear
He get’s into trouble everywhere!
As a special treat we took him to
Melbourn Rock Club’s Saturday do
Four of the Fellowship came along
We should have been at least five strong
But Paul had trouble with the lads
And that made us all feel very sad
But not for long!
Sally, Kevin, Chris & Peter + Fender Bear
Chris, Kevin, Peter, Grant and Fender
All out thanks to Maurice on a bender
Keith and Sally were there too
And a smattering of others that we knew
The beers flowed and the JD’s as well
Apart from Chris, now who could tell
He switched from cheap to the Purser’s Rum
And what ensued was so much fun!
There were delicious BBQ’d cheese burgers
Or as a treat you could have one with sausages
And to spice things up of course
Try a splash of chilli Sauce!
Fender guarded some lasses cider
He really wanted to sit beside her
We drank we danced we rocked all night
And some of the photo’s, what a fright!
It may have seemed we were without a care
But don’t blame us, it was the bear!
Motor Oil & Confidence - Olly giving us his all on bass.
Motor Oil & Confidence were good I’d say
And we were well impressed by Walkway
And then Pig Iron tore Melbourn a new one
Showed everyone just how it should be done
Good old Maurice triumphs once more
Well he did let us all through the door
And now we’ve such memories to share
But don’t blame us, it was the bear!
Walkway, a splendid young band, really rocked.
We stayed up late with some of the bands
And a couple or two of the Rock Club ‘hands’
And then at last it was time for Fender’s Den
For the fun to start all over again
Four of us in a two berth caravan
If anyone can do it the Fellowship can
But naughty Fender spilt lots of drink
And Grant was soaked in JD & coke, what a stink
All over his coat and in his hair
But don’t blame us, it was the bear!
Pig Iron, tearing Melbourn Rock Club a new one!
Grant & Chris on beds and Peter on the floor
And Kevin perched up high up on a board
Music off, music on, music off, music on
Sound sensitive disco lights what can go wrong?
Stumbling around in the dark to go for a pee
Poor Peter laying there trampled under feet
But were we sober enough to really care?
Don’t blame us it was the bear!
Morning came with a welcome sun
To shine upon our night of fun
And warm away any hangover feelings
Embarrassments and drunken reeling’s
With a wake up call of “Breakfast’s ready”
Maurice was just as always so ‘rock steady’
And we had hot coffee and a full English too
And Grant de-oxygenated the poor club’s loo
And then we packed up camp and left for home
Another splendid outing over and done
So many great memories to treasure and share
Oh yes, it was us, The Fellowship AND Fender Bear
The Fellowship of the Stick, very sober gentlemen.
Sunday is, and was, a day of rest!
Monday came, work was hectic, but Monday evening we were off again, this time to London to the Shepherds Bush Empire to see Gong supported by Enochian Theory, but where oh where was Peter?
Going, Going, Gong!
So tired, tired of waiting, tired of waiting for you, oo, oo
Well, what else were we to do?
We’d already waited an hour at the gate
And Peter, Peter, Peter was late!
Not a word not a sound
And time was skipping along
The Fellowship was off to London to see Gong
Reluctantly, after leaving messages galore
We set off, we three
Kevin Chris and me
And no Peter!
It didn’t feel right
But we had to salvage the night
And when we were well on the way
The phone rang
And we sang, “So tired, tired of waiting”
And, “Get your arse on the train
And we’ll all meet up again”
Which we did in the Central Bar at Shepherds Bush
What a rush
Finally, finally, the four of us
Enochian Theory were the support
Strange ethereal metal refrains
OK, but I prefer Stuart O’Connor
When it comes to that sort of music for the brain
So we weren’t quite able to lose it to the sounds
While Gong, on the other hand
Treated us to a classic vintage set
Radio Gnome Invisible, Angel’s Egg & You
With a smattering of 2032
And boy oh boy can Orlando Allen play those drums!
I met Keith The bass from Here and Now
We chatted about old times and new music, wow!
‘Poodle Hair man’ was there too
All in all a very good do
And even all so much the better
For the ride home in ‘The Randy Lover’
We proved that with a will it can be done
Nights out on ‘School days ‘can be fun.
Until the next time, "Have a cup of Tea".
Grant Meaby, November 2012